(On Cable TV, September 2012) There are bad movies, and then there are awful movies. Movie-watchers quick to criticize the latest Hollywood blockbuster usually forget that there’s far more awful stuff lurking in the direct-to-video realm. Films so bad that they break the suspension of disbelief required to watch a film, leaving viewers squirming as they just see bad actors mouthing terrible dialogue in cheap sets. So it is that after a truly promising first five minutes blending schoolgirl outfit, ironic dialogue and some structural sophistication, Bounty Hunters quickly devolves into an awful made-for-video Z-grade crime thriller. Wrestler Trish Stratus stars as a bounty hunter who knows how to fight, but her ability to carry herself physically can’t save the film when it suffers from such a low budget, pedestrian writing or general immaturity. Canadian pride won’t hold me back from acknowledging that the film was shot in Toronto (with Ontario plates on the vehicles), in slush-filled locations. The problem with the film is that save for its decently-polished opening, it’s bland and dull and uninteresting in the most profound way: it doesn’t click as an entertainment experience and as a result all of its flaws seem magnified. There’s no reason to be interested in it, and even the so-called emotional motivation of the film remains off-screen. When even a girl-on-girl fight sequence in an ambulance leaves me yawning, it’s time to say that nothing’s working. Too bad; I’m usually indulgent when it comes to action films… but not this one.